The fraud-accused millionaire nephew of ABC chair Ita Buttrose has had two charges dismissed after being convicted of trying to flee the country with a fake passport.
Andrew Spira, son of Sydney socialite Elizabeth Buttrose, wasn’t required to appear before Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court on Wednesday when the charges were withdrawn.
It’s understood the two charges of making a false travel document and using false identity information to obtain a flight ticket were withdrawn after being dealt with in Darwin.
Mr Spira was last week handed a $39,000 fine and an 18-month good behaviour bond in a Northern Territory court after he was convicted of attempting to flee the country using a fake passport.
At the time, he was allowed under his bail conditions to leave the country. Documents obtained by police state he planned to flee to the Pacific and set up an armed militia.
Despite the dismissal, Mr Spira will return to court in Sydney next month as he faces a separate charge of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception.
Police allege the millionaire used fraudulently obtained credit card details to book accommodation at a bed and breakfast at Louth Park in the NSW Hunter Valley.
Mr Spira is alleged to have stayed at the remote property northwest of Newcastle for one night on May 18, 2023, resulting in a loss to the owners of $943.
Magistrate Greg Grogin said Mr Spira would be required to enter a plea next month for the fraud charge, which followed the entrepreneur’s arrest in Darwin on May 22.
Mr Spira’s lawyer, Samir Karnib, said his client’s ability to enter a plea would depend on the outcome of representations being made to the police prosecutor.
Mr Spira is a start-up entrepreneur and founder and chief executive of Pineapple Funding, which provides access to capital for “small and medium business”, its website states.